Attention turns to naturally occurring methane seepage



Methane is the most abundant organic compound in the Earth's atmosphere. As a powerful greenhouse gas, it has implications for global climate change. Sources of methane to the atmosphere are varied. Depending on the source, methane can contain either modern or ancient carbon. Methane exiting from swamps and wetlands contains modern carbon, whereas methane leaking from petroleum reservoirs contains ancient carbon. The total annual source of methane to the atmosphere has been constrained to about 540 teragrams (Tg) per year “Cicerone and Oremland, 1988”. Notably absent from any identified sources is the contribution of geologically sourced methane from naturally occurring seepage.